Seasons Greetings to You All!

A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Prosperous New Year from us all at How Green!

It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago, we were penning these pages for Christmas and looking back at 2013 – how time flies!

Here at the nursery, with Christmas just over a week away, the excitement has started to build for the festive season! The staff tea hut has been lavishly decorated with highly flammable tinsel and an appalling fake tree, making for a winter wonderland! Waist lines are already expanding and all roads lead to the staff Christmas party in a few days time!

Staff are like Santa’s little helpers, busily creating Christmas wicker planters and lovely decorated Hyacinths which make wonderful Christmas presents. It’s still not too late to place your orders with us. ****We also have a special treat for you! Open our availability lists opposite and you’ll find the How Green Nursery Christmas quiz! 100 green fingered questions to get sunk into over the festive period. Put your brain cells to the test and send us back your answers via email. There will be prizes in the form of vouchers to our public open weekends next year for those with the most correct answers!****

We’ve had a great season here at How Green, with trade brisk throughout the year. The Winter of 2013 was the wettest on record, but the weather broke in February and we didn’t look back! A decent Spring for the first time in many years was then followed by a good Summer. Garden centres were busy and with an upturn in the economy the garden designers/landscapers followed.

There was never a dull moment with our trade and public open days, with many old friends and new customers paying us a visit. The tea and cake flowed and our stocks took a good battering!

We put together two show gardens of our own, as well as growing for prestige show gardens at Chelsea, Hampton Court, Malvern and Blenheim. Our crowning glory was Chelsea where we grew 90% of the plants for the Dial A Flight sponsored Potters Garden designed and put together by Nature Redesigned. The reward for their hard work was a well deserved gold medal – not bad for their first attempt at Chelsea!

We had a busy year on the social calendar, with many talks to garden societies held at venues as well as here at the nursery.

We look forward to 2015 and have some plans that will become apparent on these pages in the weeks to come, so keep tuned! All we have to say is Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all  and thank you for supporting us this season!

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Medal at marvelous Malvern!

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We’ve been very busy this season with growing plants for RHS show gardens. Our band of merry garden design customers have taken on the challenge of designing, building and planting at some of the countries most prestigious shows!

First up, our good friends Richard and Sam from Twigs garden design based in Sussex approached us to grow for their ‘A Fruity Story’ garden at Malvern. The concept of the garden was based around a realistic, fully functional garden that can inspire people to do the same at home! The emphasis being on cooking, with the installation of a beautiful brick fire kiln.

The planting also tied in nicely, with many herbs, vegetables and soft fruit that could be used directly in conjunction with any cooking done in the garden. Planting was not in the conventional way in lines, but blending in with herbaceous perennials and grasses. To soften the wonderful landscaping, Richard and his team used a wonderful pallet of shade loving plants to under-plant the stunning Betula and Acers.

They deservedly won a Silver-gilt medal which is a great achievement guys! With several celebrities including chef James Martin enjoying the garden and a slot on Gardeners World last Friday, I’m sure Twigs will go from strength to strength!

Next week, check out our post on how our growing for the Chelsea Flower Show went!

Rain, Rain Go Away!!

Please don’t come back another day!!!

What a terrible Winter the whole of the country has suffered! It all started back in October with the St Jude’s Day storm, which battered the UK with high winds and rain. Since then, it’s been a relentless chain of low pressure fronts, again leashing a series of storms with gusts up to 100mph and rain in biblical proportions!

Thankfully the nursery has come through all this  (so far!) relatively unscathed! All but for a few broken pains of glass and some power-cuts we’ve been very lucky.

The volume of rain has proved problematic for the horticultural trade. With the ground saturated, landscapers and designers can’t build new gardens and the nations gardeners are restricted to container gardening.

The last week or so has seen some relatively settled weather, with warm temperatures and some lovely sunny days! Our stock has reacted to this improving pattern and our Spring flowering plants are starting to bloom. One of the first plants to wake up are our Primulas. We grow over 25 different Primulas with some rare and unusual varieties amongst them.

Camera in hand, we got out amongst our plants yesterday and snapped away at our Primulas. Spring has finally sprung!!!

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Happy New Year!

A very belated Happy New Year to all our customers old and new! The Year Ahead……….

How time flies! The Christmas festivities and holiday time flew by (as always!) and before we knew it, we’re all back at work and building for the 2014 season ahead. The elements have really stacked up against us the last few weeks, with high winds and torrential rain, the likes of which we haven’t seen in years!

Inclement weather is a challenge for any grower and we’ve certainly been up against it recently! The Christmas Eve storm created havoc with many pains of glass lost from our greenhouses and one of our older tunnels unable to hold on any longer! We’ve been busy with maintenance round the nursery and our brand new office/sales area is nearing completion. Our plants have all been divided and tidied up and we await our consignment of bare root perennials to be potted up.

Chelsea 2014

Hot off the press, we have been approached to grow for another Chelsea show garden this year! With the success of growing for Roger Platts award winning garden last year, we are growing around 90% of the plants for one of the artisan gardens. Check out our website later in the week for a full feature on our road to Chelsea!

Public Open Weekends

2014 sees the return of our ever popular public open weekends (check banner opposite). Take the opportunity to visit a strictly trade only nursery and buy plants from our extensive range of over 4000 different plants. Again, there will be lashings of tea and cake on offer, all served up in the surrounds of our lovely Summer house! This year, they’ll be a few surprises thrown in for good measure – check our website for further updates!

Trade Open Days

Our trade only days will feature amazing discounts for garden designers/landscapers and garden centres for orders taken on the day. These days proved really successful in 2013. Networking between horticulturists was fantastic and many visitors found some amazing leads on the day! (See dates in banner opposite)

Enough rambling for one day – we wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year!

 

Merry Christmas from all at How Green Nursery!

Wishing all our customers old and new a very merry Christmas and best wishes for the year ahead!

We find ourselves a week away from Christmas day and we’re left wondering, where on earth did that year go?! Here at How Green we are busily beavering away like Santa’s elves to prepare Christmas potted arrangements. We use high quality wicker trugs and a choice of bulbs including Hyacinths and Narcissus, all then lovingly decorated with natural moss and a Christmas tag. (See our plant of the week pictures). We also have a special treat for you! Open our availability lists opposite and you’ll find the How Green Nursery Christmas quiz! 100 green fingered questions to get sunk into over the festive period. Put your brain cells to the test and send us back your answers via email. There will be prizes for those with the most correct answers!

We take a look back at the 2013 season and reflect on what has been a rollercoaster of a year! It started disastrously for us and everyone connected with the industry. A prolonged Winter with snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures made for less than favourable gardening and growing conditions. March and April, which should be two of our busiest months were a right-off . Coming off the back of a very difficult 2012 (where it didn’t stop raining), the situation was bleak.

Spring

Then in April came our first of three public open weekends. Oh how we rejoiced! The weather behaved and gardeners gave us renewed confidence by coming to the nursery in their masses! Plants were sold by the boot full and the tea and cake flowed! This was then followed by a calm spell with sun and warmth. Our stock which at one point was six weeks behind in growth caught up and it was like flicking a light switch! This was extra relief with How Green growing for a major show garden at Chelsea Flower Show for the first time! Our good friend Roger Platt’s M&G sponsored garden deservedly won gold, and we breathed a sigh of relief!

Garden centres and garden designers stepped up through the gears and suddenly the 2013 season was underway!

Summer

The fantastic weather then carried on into early Summer and further open days, both trade and public proved a hit. Our show gardens and plant stand at Penshurst Place were warmly (hotly!) received. The long Summer days continued and got the nation out into their gardens. The smell of BBQ’s hung in the air and pots and borders that had not been tended since the Summer before, were revitalised! Again, we grew for two gardens at Hampton Court Flower Show.

Autumn

Then into Autumn. Late September saw our most successful Trade Open Day to date. Gardeners, designers and garden centres took advantage of our special offers on the day and the networking opportunities were phenominal! Business cards and numbers were exchanged and our cake and biscuit tin took a real battering! Usually a time for us to grow for the following year, but something amazing happened! Our loyal and ever increasing band of garden designers took on the challenge of some major projects. This in turn left considerable holes in our stock leading to our best Autumn sales ever!

Winter

And so to Winter! A time to reflect and do maintenance round the nursery. As you can see from our last post, we are in the throws of constructing a new office and sales area. Also in the pipeline, a new Lavender tunnel. Our 2014 catalogue is being lovingly put together by the amazing Natalie Seal at Ginger & Fig in Tunbridge Wells. She’s a whizzo graphic designer and website designer, specialising in anything horticultural. The catalogue has over 300 new plants on offer to you next season, so our stock of over 4500 plants looks very exciting indeed!

Other plans for the 2014 season include more Public and Trade Open Days (dates TBA – check website for details). We are also in the process of organising some guest speakers here at the nursery. These may be evening/weekend events, or we might tie them in with our open days. We already have talks and nursery tours booked in from numerous gardening clubs and societies. Contact us for further details.

Literally hot off the press, we have been asked to grow for a Chelsea garden again next year! If we say who, we may have to kill you – details nearer the time!!

All that’s left for us to say here at How Green is Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all! We leave you with some scenes from our staff Christmas party last year!

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